Every now and then I read about people wondering when they should start giving their tweens pocket money. And in my opinion, if you’re asking when to give TWEENS pocket money, you’re already way too late.
All of my kids had pocket money from the age of 4 – £2 a week.
As a result, they are all very good with money. It is their money and they can choose to save it or they can choose to spend it.
They know that if they want anything, they have three choices – save for it, wait until your birthday or wait until Christmas. They know not to ask for it because they know we won’t buy it for them. Apart from essential clothing, school stuff etc, they buy everything themselves. That’s the way it has always been and they have never known any different.
And it really works! My kids understand the value of money and the cost of things. They know if they buy little things every week that they will never be able to afford anything big. Likewise, they know if they want something big, they have to save for it and eventually it will be theirs. Kids appreciate things so much more if they’ve taken the time to save and waited for it, sometimes for months.
My eldest is the spender. He never holds on to money for long and can never think long-term. If he sees something, he usually buys it there and then, forgetting any longer-term aims he may have had in favour of the quick win.
My younger son is the saver. He has something in mind that he wants and he saves until he gets it. This boy bought a laptop at the age of 7, a second-hand Xbox at the age of 10 and a DS just before Christmas last year (he didn’t want to wait until Christmas and he didn’t need to, because he had the money).
My daughter is the hoarder. She has nothing in particular to save for and she worries about ‘wasting’ money. She will always think very carefully about any purchase and then usually reject it, for fear of her money going down. As a result, she usually has between £150 and £200 to her name. She has recently discovered a love of shopping and has started to spend bits on clothes and accessories, but is still careful not to let her money drop below £150.
I have increased their pocket money a bit since they were 4. When my eldest went to secondary school, we increased his to £3, then when my younger son went to secondary school, we increased both boys’ pocket money to £4 and my daughter’s to £3. My younger son chooses to spend £1 a week of his money on extra data for his phone.
When my daughter starts secondary school in September, I think we will probably increase the younger kids’ pocket money to £5 a week each, with them both spending £1 a week on data. As my eldest will be going into 6th form, I think £10 will be an appropriate amount for him. With this, he will be expected to fund all of his days and nights out. Hopefully he will also have a part-time job by then. He is already earning extra cash from time to time by feeding neighbours’ pets when they go away.
Giving my kids pocket money has really worked for them and for us. I’m sure that by giving them their own budgets we have not only taught them the value of money, but also saved ourselves a lot of money over the years by not buying things for them on impulse.
What do you think? Do you give your kids regular pocket money? How much do you give them?